Here is scheduling matter that is sure to cause outrage among Cal and Stanford supporters, and may be the first time Bay Area folks look at Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott as an outsider unfamiliar with local traditions:
The 2012 Cal-Stanford football game, known to one and all as the Big Game, will be played at Cal, but not the end of the regular season or even toward the end, but on Oct. 20. That is the eighth game of the season for the Golden Bears, with four regular-season games after that prior to a possible Pac-12 title game.
The Golden Bears’ final regular-season game is Nov. 17 against Oregon State. Every other Pac-12 school plays its final regular-season game the following weekend.
The Cardinal will have five regular-season games after the Big Game, ending with a game at UCLA before a possible Pac-12 championship game.
“The October 20 date for Big Game is 2012 is certainly not our first choice but the conference is governed by the will of the majority and we have a duty to respect the outcome of the vote,” said Stanford Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby. “We will work with California and the Pac-12 Office to advocate for the Big Game and all rivalry games to be scheduled toward the end of the season in future years.”
The Big Game has not been the final game of the season a number of times in recent years, and that was cause for disappointment by many, including Stanford coach David Shaw. But it has never been placed right in the middle of the season, making it little more than a regular conference game.
Someone needs to inform Scott that it is called the Big Game for a reason. In the middle of the season, it is merely the Eighth Game.
Because Cal does not have a game scheduled the weekend of Nov. 24, you have to wonder whether Stanford and Cal can get together to move the Big Game to that date. That would require Stanford to move its Nov. 24 game against UCLA to another date, which may require quite a bit of finagling and may be impossible to do.
This Big Game scheduling is sure to obscure the fact that the Golden Bears’ 21012 schedule includes a trip to Columbus, Ohio, to play Ohio State on Sept. 15. That will be Urban Meyer’s third game as the Buckeyes’ coach. Ohio State will come to Berkeley the following year to play Cal on Sept. 14, 2013.
The Bears open 2012 with a Sept. 1 game against Nevada, which will be the first game at renovated Memorial Stadium (assuming it’s ready). Cal’s other nonconference game is against Southern Utah.
Here is the Cal 2012 football schedule:
Sept. 1 — Nevada at Cal
Sept. 8 — Southern Utah at Cal
Sept;. 15 — Cal at Ohio State
Sept. 22 — Cal at USC
Sept. 29 — Arizona State at Cal
Oct. 6 — UCLA at Cal
Oct. 13 — Cal at Washington State
Oct. 20– Stanford at Cal
Oct. 27 — Cal at Utah
Nov. 2 (Friday) — Washington at Cal
Nov. 10 — Oregon at Cal
Nov. 17 — Cal at Oregon State
Nov. 30 (Friday) — Pac-12 title game at home site of higher seeded team.
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